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Planning inspector rejects KFC planning appeal

Plans plus refused sign

A government planning inspector has dismissed an appeal made by KFC after their application for a restaurant and takeaway at Gateshead's Team Valley Retail World was refused by Gateshead Council.

The company had submitted a planning application for a new restaurant and takeaway at the retail park but were told that the council's planning policies restrict the creation of new hot food takeaways in areas of high obesity.

In 2015, Gateshead Council adopted a new planning policy - called a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) - to ensure that planning permission for new hot food takeaways would be refused in wards where children's obesity levels exceed 10%, or where the proportion of hot food takeaways per head of population was higher than the national average.

The company decided to press ahead with its application despite the SPD and planning permission was then refused. KFC then appealed the council's decision to the government's Planning Inspectorate.

Gateshead's Hot Food Takeaway SPDNow, a  government planning inspector has considered the company's appeal and dismissed it, citing the likelihood that the company's proposal "...would increase the access of citizens of Lamesley and the rest of Gateshead to unhealthy food."

The inspector noted that the level of obesity amongst year 6 children in the Lamesley ward - which includes the southern part of the Team Valley Trading Estate - was 19.8% in 2015/16, which is nearly double the Council's target figure. He also remarked that the most recent data for the area as a whole showed obesity levels still well above the 10% level.

He also noted: "In 2015 all 22 of Gateshead's wards had year 6 obesity levels above the Council's target of 10%, 13 had levels of 20% or above and 2 had levels above 30%. On this basis, I consider that it is reasonable to conclude that the majority of those visiting the Team Valley Retail Park live in wards where a large number of year 6 pupils are classified as obese."

"Data provided by the Council indicates that overweight or obese pupils are likely to become overweight or obese adults," he said.

He added: "I believe that it is incumbent upon the Council to use those powers it has to try and address this problem. Its Supplementary Planning Document builds upon wider Council policy to promote healthy living and represents a well thought through policy response to the proliferation of hot food takeaways in Lamesley and elsewhere across the borough."

Gateshead Council's Supplementary Planning Document was one of the first of its kind in the UK when it was adopted in 2015. The document ensures that planning decisions go beyond the traditional planning considerations to take a proposed development's public health impacts into account.

Read the Planning Inspectors reportAt the time of adoption, Gateshead Council found that some 22% of all year 6 children in Gateshead were obese and that this proportion had been rising over the previous 5 years. In addition, research by Gateshead Council revealed that locally there was an average of 0.97 hot food takeaways per 1000 people, exceeding the national average of 0.78 per 1000 people, and that in many wards the figure was considerably higher.

Councillor Bernadette Oliphant, Cabinet member for Health and Wellbeing, says:

"The planning inspector's remarks are a powerful endorsement of our efforts to improve people's health by helping to reduce obesity, and we welcome his decision.

"When the council agreed to adopt this planning policy, there were already proven links between obesity levels in the local community and the availability of hot food takeaways in that community. Put simply, it seemed that the more takeaways there were, the higher the rates of obesity appeared to be. That was something of real concern.

"We want to make it easier for people to make healthy choices in their diets, but this is much harder in areas of relative poverty where we have seen a proliferation of hot food takeaways in recent years.

"Limiting the number of takeaways in Gateshead isn't going to cure obesity but it is one small - and effective - action within a wider effort to tackle obesity levels.

"I'm glad to say that many other local authorities have subsequently followed our lead and are similarly limiting the number of new takeaways in their areas."

Evidence submitted by the council to the Planning Inspectorate showed that 32.4% of all food outlets in the area are hot food takeaways compared to a figure of 22.7% for England as a whole.

Obesity in England - reportSince its introduction, the SPD has resulted in every planning application for a new hot food takeaway being refused, with every appeal being upheld by the government's Planning Inspectorate.  There are currently 163 hot food takeaways in Gateshead, compared to 206 when the SPD was adopted. The long term impact of the SPD will ensure that the unchecked growth in the number of takeaways is not increased.

In 2017, Gateshead Council beat off challenges from nine other UK local authorities to secure the 2017 LGC Award for Public Health for its Hot Food Takeaway SPD.

The council's SPD has been cited as good practice by numerous organisations such as Public Health England, the Town and Country Planning Association, and universities both in the UK and abroad.

Plans plus refused sign
13 March 2020

A government planning inspector has dismissed an appeal made by KFC after their application for a restaurant and takeaway at Gateshead's Team Valley Retail World was refused by Gateshead Council.

The company had submitted a planning application for a new restaurant and takeaway at the retail park but were told that the council's planning policies restrict the creation of new hot food takeaways in areas of high obesity.

In 2015, Gateshead Council adopted a new planning policy - called a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) - to ensure that planning permission for new hot food takeaways would be refused in wards where children's obesity levels exceed 10%, or where the proportion of hot food takeaways per head of population was higher than the national average.

The company decided to press ahead with its application despite the SPD and planning permission was then refused. KFC then appealed the council's decision to the government's Planning Inspectorate.

Gateshead's Hot Food Takeaway SPDNow, a  government planning inspector has considered the company's appeal and dismissed it, citing the likelihood that the company's proposal "...would increase the access of citizens of Lamesley and the rest of Gateshead to unhealthy food."

The inspector noted that the level of obesity amongst year 6 children in the Lamesley ward - which includes the southern part of the Team Valley Trading Estate - was 19.8% in 2015/16, which is nearly double the Council's target figure. He also remarked that the most recent data for the area as a whole showed obesity levels still well above the 10% level.

He also noted: "In 2015 all 22 of Gateshead's wards had year 6 obesity levels above the Council's target of 10%, 13 had levels of 20% or above and 2 had levels above 30%. On this basis, I consider that it is reasonable to conclude that the majority of those visiting the Team Valley Retail Park live in wards where a large number of year 6 pupils are classified as obese."

"Data provided by the Council indicates that overweight or obese pupils are likely to become overweight or obese adults," he said.

He added: "I believe that it is incumbent upon the Council to use those powers it has to try and address this problem. Its Supplementary Planning Document builds upon wider Council policy to promote healthy living and represents a well thought through policy response to the proliferation of hot food takeaways in Lamesley and elsewhere across the borough."

Gateshead Council's Supplementary Planning Document was one of the first of its kind in the UK when it was adopted in 2015. The document ensures that planning decisions go beyond the traditional planning considerations to take a proposed development's public health impacts into account.

Read the Planning Inspectors reportAt the time of adoption, Gateshead Council found that some 22% of all year 6 children in Gateshead were obese and that this proportion had been rising over the previous 5 years. In addition, research by Gateshead Council revealed that locally there was an average of 0.97 hot food takeaways per 1000 people, exceeding the national average of 0.78 per 1000 people, and that in many wards the figure was considerably higher.

Councillor Bernadette Oliphant, Cabinet member for Health and Wellbeing, says:

"The planning inspector's remarks are a powerful endorsement of our efforts to improve people's health by helping to reduce obesity, and we welcome his decision.

"When the council agreed to adopt this planning policy, there were already proven links between obesity levels in the local community and the availability of hot food takeaways in that community. Put simply, it seemed that the more takeaways there were, the higher the rates of obesity appeared to be. That was something of real concern.

"We want to make it easier for people to make healthy choices in their diets, but this is much harder in areas of relative poverty where we have seen a proliferation of hot food takeaways in recent years.

"Limiting the number of takeaways in Gateshead isn't going to cure obesity but it is one small - and effective - action within a wider effort to tackle obesity levels.

"I'm glad to say that many other local authorities have subsequently followed our lead and are similarly limiting the number of new takeaways in their areas."

Evidence submitted by the council to the Planning Inspectorate showed that 32.4% of all food outlets in the area are hot food takeaways compared to a figure of 22.7% for England as a whole.

Obesity in England - reportSince its introduction, the SPD has resulted in every planning application for a new hot food takeaway being refused, with every appeal being upheld by the government's Planning Inspectorate.  There are currently 163 hot food takeaways in Gateshead, compared to 206 when the SPD was adopted. The long term impact of the SPD will ensure that the unchecked growth in the number of takeaways is not increased.

In 2017, Gateshead Council beat off challenges from nine other UK local authorities to secure the 2017 LGC Award for Public Health for its Hot Food Takeaway SPD.

The council's SPD has been cited as good practice by numerous organisations such as Public Health England, the Town and Country Planning Association, and universities both in the UK and abroad.

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